Shilla is a project consisting of two artists – HollywoodRoze, from Broward County FL, and G.r.i.e.f, from Detroit Michigan. Both of whom are currently living in Atlanta. The two have been making music together for about 5 years and their single “DARK SKIES” is the perfect example of them producing a sound that is continuing to evolve. ++The single is a pure masterpiece from start to finish when it comes to emotional, atmospheric and mood-inducing music, with Shilla packing a lot of great content in a short amount of time, or rather four minutes and one second. Over and above, the top tier production, the song begs to be listened to, based on Shilla’s delivery alone.
Throughout “DARK SKIES” we are taken on a journey by a lyrical and melodic narrative that is both direct and cryptic, depending on which angle your mindset is coming from. Loaded with existential, philosophical and metaphorical pointers, HollywoodRoze and G.r.i.e.f pack out rhymes that are both poignantly sensible and explicitly blunt.
They can go from God to Hennessy and pussy within a couple of bars. The impeccable lyrics wrap a tightly-bound bow on the project and serves as a proper climax to the track.
“DARK SKIES” is a fantastic single, one that is like a well written sentence: short and sweet. With only 4 minutes to present the Shilla brand and aesthetic to the world, the song doesn’t waste any time or space, because it simply cannot afford to.
The atmosphere, the rapper-to-rapper, and then rapper-to-producer chemistry, all serves to show how everything fits together perfectly. I don’t know if that’s a testament to how well HollywoodRoze and G.r.i.e.f work together or just to their amazing talent. But either way, it’s pretty astounding.
Many artists, especially today, are often categorized and put into boxes that can be difficult for them to get out of. Fans and critics, admittedly including myself, tend to prematurely brand artists based on the content of one single release.
But one set of artists who are truly a beast entirely of their own doing is Shilla. They evolve, they improve, they hang onto their core sound, and yet they manage to raise the bar on each release. Simply check out “Live Fast Die Young” released about 3 years ago, and then “Can’t Be Friends” from about a year ago, now press play on “DARK SKIES”.
The differences are as mightily distinct to a pair of trained ears, as they may appear subtle to a casual listener. Shilla have moved to the next level, which also includes the track “Hollywood G.r.i.e.f” (prod. by Vescure). Most new wave hip-hop artists sacrifice most if not all of their lyrical talent to create a more mainstream appeal.
I understand why they feel the need but it still comes off like they’re underestimating the listeners every time. Songs like “DARK SKIES” prove that a track can have cleverness to it, and even a more focused and profound lyrical concept than just watered down rap clichés, and still be a banger. I hope this song brings Shilla even more attention, because they definitely deserve it.